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Lewes Raft Race and Regatta 2015

On 10 Jun 2015 at 1:16pm Jeff wrote:
Raft Race and Regatta, first in more than 100 years, River Ouse, Lewes, July 19 2015

THE FIRST regatta in more than 100 years will bring new life to the River Ouse at Lewes this summer. A flotilla of boats, canoe races, and a fancy-dress raft race are all planned for Sunday July 19.

The annual charity raft race from Lewes to Newhaven will go through the centre of town for the first time in its 40-year history, allowing spectators to line the riverbank and hurl the traditional fusillade of flour bombs and eggs.

Organisers hope the regatta will revive interest in the Ouse and provide residents with a summer social highlight that will become as much an annual fixture as Bonfire Night.

Lewes Rowing club members will launch as many of their boats as they can get on the water and sail up through town with flags and sirens announcing the start of festivities. Then there will be a series of canoe and kayak races for people to cheer on, and finally the rafts will set off from Wiley's Bridge at Malling all decked out in Seventies costumes to mark the 40th anniversary.

Round Table chairman Matt Craig said: "The raft race normally starts south of the town by the railway land, meaning most of the race down to Newhaven goes unseen. This new route race will start near Tesco and go through the town centre, under Cliffe Bridge. There will be more than enough riverbank for the whole town to watch, cheer, laugh and throw the usual flour bombs."

Entries are already being invited, with Lewes firefighters and Brewers decorators among the first to book a space. Said Matt: "As it is a special race this year we hope to have a dozen or so entrants, all decked out to remind us of the days of glam rock, Abba and Captain Pugwash . It should be great fun.

Anyone wishing to enter a raft needs to contact Matt Craig soon. Special size-limitations will be included this year to make sure all rafts can safely get under Cliffe Bridge.

Lewes Rowing Club Secretary Brendon Parsons said: "The town exists because of the River Ouse but it has become a neglected treasure. Our members are fortunate enough to enjoy boating on the Ouse and this is our way of sharing that joy and privilege with the rest of the town.

"Canoe and small-boats races should give everyone something to cheer. We have already had a lot of interest from canoeists in other Sussex clubs, so there should be an element of competition as well as a lot of fun. The raft race will provide the perfect climax."

Organisers have deliberately chosen a date before the schools break up for summer so as many families as possible can watch.

To enter a raft, contact Matt Craig through the Round Table website:

To get updates on the regatta or learn more about boating on the Ouse, go to the rowing club website: lewesrowingclub.co.uk

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On 10 Jun 2015 at 1:46pm Nelson wrote:
As popular as bonfire night ! I bet the blue light agencies are delighted , good luck hope the sun shines for all
On 10 Jun 2015 at 4:47pm Fiddle wrote:
Sounds amazing, will be there!
On 10 Jun 2015 at 5:51pm 8 miles from home wrote:
Saves the rafts from being the target.
On 10 Jun 2015 at 8:46pm Webbo wrote:
Around 1pm for flotilla through town to 3.30pm for last raft race
On 11 Jun 2015 at 9:33am tobnac wrote:
Has anyone got a contact number for the rowing club? There's nothing on their website.

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